“Many women assume they can't be good mothers and have challenging careers at the same time, so they might give up trying to do both as they get to a crucial point in their career. Although it can be hard at times, it's important for women to recognize the benefits of working outside the home. “ - Susan Wojcicki, CEO YouTube
Called the “Queen of the very small screen” by Forbes, Susan Wojcicki is a self made billionaire and the CEO of Youtube, the $70 billion video platform with over a billion users.
Native to Silicon Valley (her father was a Stanford professor), she began showing her boldness and intellect through entrepreneurship at an early age, profitably selling ropes of spices with her best friend at age 11. After obtaining a degree in humanities from Harvard and considering a job in academia, she radically changed path after taking a computing class in college.
After buying a house in Menlo Park in 1998, she rented out her garage for 1700 dollars a month to two Stanford students eager to make a mark on the burgeoning tech scene in the valley: none other than Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who incubated Google in her garage. Noticing the potential of this new search engine when she realised that she couldn’t do her work without it, she decided to become Google employee number sixteen in 1999. It was the decision of a lifetime.
She has been an enormous success at Google, revolutionising almost all aspects of their business model and proving crucial in the development of their most profitable ideas. Among these are Google Doodles, Google images, Google books, Google analytics and range of advertising products offered by Google including AdWords, AdSense and DoubleClick, which together make up the vast majority of the company’s profits.
As the head of Google Video, she noticed the potential of YouTube, her largest competitor, and convinced Google to purchase it in 2006; in doing so, she landed the company one of its biggest ever successes. She has headed YouTube since 2014, overseeing its continued growth and adaptation. Under her influence,
Google has become one of the premier destinations for female talent, with plenty of features conducive to working mothers: 18 weeks of paid parental leave, nursing rooms on site, and reserved parking for expecting mothers included. Her advocacy for paid parental leave is vigorous and well known.
Wojcicki is one of a growing cohort of inspirational women demonstrating that women can attain great influence and wealth in the corporate arena, making the presence of powerful, successful working mothers (she has 5 children) in the public eye a far more persistent one.